Willmott Dixon is boosting its education skill set with the arrival of former Bristol BSF lead negotiator Janie Chesterton as the company’s new head of education.

Janie will be responsible for refining and developing the company’s education offering, providing strategic leadership on future direction and coordinating its relationships with PfS, framework partner Scape, local authorities and central Government. Her arrival allows sector manager Bob Athroll to focus on continuing to develop best practice and supporting educational bids across the group.

Prior to joining Willmott Dixon, Janie spent five years on Bristol City Council’s PFI & BSF teams, where she undertook negotiations for the council on its schools PFI schemes, one of which became the UK’s first education LEP, and co-wrote Bristol’s bid for BSF. Janie brings experience from being a commercial manager at Partnerships for Schools and from Northgate Managed Services, where she had significant and varied engagement across the education sector.

Peter Owen, Willmott Dixon’s managing director for the Midlands and responsible for education says, “Janie will add strategic leadership to a key sector for us, which will continue to offer opportunity despite the well publicised spending cuts. It highlights how we will continue to invest to broaden our range of skills and ensure we challenge our thinking.”
Peter continues, “Janie’s appointment comes at a time when we are addressing the ‘more for less’ value challenge of our clients with a number of exciting new products, including our Sunesis range of standardised designs, in joint venture with Scape.”

Janie said, “I will bring my client-side experience to add new fire-power to Willmott Dixon’s engagement with education clients as we seek to enhance our offering in low carbon and value for money.

“In terms of why I decided to work for Willmott Dixon, I have always admired how the company has striven to add intellectual content to the process of creating the next generation of school environments, helping achieve a number of UK firsts that have since been adopted across the country. My role will be to ensure that continues, as the company’s role in education is substantially more than ‘just’ being a builder.”